The newly inducted General Overseer (Bishop) of the United Methodist Church in Liberia, Samuel J. Quire, last weekend raised his audience to their feet in applause when he vowed that “dedicated servants of the Church will not beg for bread in their service to God and His people.”
“Under my administration as head Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Liberia, I will work with all who are involved in the affairs of the church to increase productivity in agriculture, establish businesses in order to pay pastors, bishops and others well,” Bishop Quire said.
He made the remark on Saturday December 31when he was inducted into office for a period of 5 years beginning 2017 to 2022.
Bishop Quire who prostrated himself on the floor of the Tubman Memorial United Methodist Church in Paynesville, promised to serve the church with humility and use Jesus Christ as his torchbearer. The new bishop quoted Jesus from Matthew 16:17 and18 saying, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
He said the Church’s resources will be increased and its branches in rural parts of the country will be strengthened, noting further that tithes and offerings alone are not sufficient to deal with the pressing economic challenges of the church’s membership.
“The Gospel needs to be contextualized in a more relevant way than the usual superficial way,” he pointed out, signifying that members of the Church should acquire basic education, skills and seek avenues to explore opportunities for their survival.
Bishop Quire said his quest to have a paradigm shift in dealing with the church’s leadership and the rest of its congregation from an economic perspective is to curtail the rampant corrupt practices that have invaded the church and the public sector.
The Bishop emphasized that unity will be the hallmark of his leadership. “We are not a divided Church but a United Methodist Church, whose mission is to bind hearts and hands together for the common good.”
Bishop Quire, who was elected at the 26th West Africa Annual Conference (WAAC) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on December 17 is the 5th indigenous Liberian to be voted into office since 1964.
He commended all past bishops for their dedicated services to the church and assured them of his preparedness to consult with them as he moves on with his job.
Turning over the gavel of authority to Bishop Quire, Interim Bishop Arthur F. Kullah called on his successor to always be prepared to face the challenges at hand. Speaking on the theme, “Prepare to Serve,” Bishop Kullah said other nations that are progressing materially today are doing so because they value proper planning and preparation and renounce hate towards each.
“Remember Sam, that promotion in the UMC is based on merit and not personality or contacts. Therefore, be fair in whatever you do as you run the office of Bishop for our church. Don’t be carried away by friendship or family connections,” Bishop Kullah admonished.
A bishop has no enemy and as such Bishop Quire should not listen to gossip, advised Kullah. “Serve the church with credibility and leave a legacy worth commending,” he told Quire.
On the other hand he called on all family members, friends and intimates of Bishop Quire not to overburden him with their personal problems. “When you take problems to an individual more than what he or she can possibly handle, you force him or her to steal just to satisfy you,” Bishop Kullah said.
Senator Commany Wesseh, on behalf of the Government said the United Methodist Church in Liberia is noted for producing great leaders and it supports peace, unity and justice.
Former House Speaker J. Alex Tyler and presidential aspirants Charles W. Brumskin and Dr. J. Mills Jones were among many personalities at the induction service.